Hiring the right SEO company can be one of the most important business decisions you will make. The right SEO company can help your business dominate search engine rankings and deliver consistently highly targeted traffic to your website with zero cost per click.
However, hiring the wrong SEO company may cost you a lot of money. In addition to the fees you will pay, a bad SEO strategy can cause your business to suffer a loss of revenue and can seriously damage your company’s brand, not to mention damage to your professional reputation.
What key credentials should you look for in SEO? What questions should you ask to help you determine if they have the industry experience, talent and technology needed to grow their business? How can you be sure that their strategy will not put your business on Google’s blacklist?
Here are the top seven questions to help you hire the right SEO company and avoid some costly pitfalls.
#1: Who will be my designated contact?
It is unlikely that someone who sells you will perform your SEO work or act as your daily contact.
A professional SEO company will assign you at least one designated contact, who will provide you by phone, email or in person. You may find it helpful to specify a contact in or near your time zone. It is required to pre-describe the contacts you specify and their location to ensure that you can work together.
The idea of a blog post. Questions about PPC activities. Reverse the design of competitors’ SEO strategies. A new product or service to add to the site. These are just a few of the topics that your service specialist should discuss with you often.
#2: How long does it take for SEO to produce results?
Achieving top organic search engine rankings for competitive keywords takes time, technical experience, cutting-edge tools, hard work, and creative thinking that is often out of the box.
To avoid disappointment, the smart move is to work with an SEO company that is willing to conduct pre-technical analysis and competitive keyword research on your website. Then provide you with an honest assessment of reasonable goals and a clear plan of action.
Google clearly stated that no company can guarantee its search engine ranking first. Any company that makes such a commitment either deliberately misleads you or is powerless. Either way, they will let themselves (and you) fail.
An honest assessment of the competitiveness of the target keywords and the time and effort required to achieve top organic search engine rankings.
#3: Can you tell me a case study of real customers in related industries?
Ask SEO companies to share their true performance results for businesses like yours. If all of their case studies are related to dentists and you run a contract business, they may not be for you.
View the results and statistics of these case studies. Google Page 1 ranking is a good start, but it will also look for website traffic, potential customers and quality conversions.
In addition to star ratings, you should be able to read feedback from actual customers, whether on the company’s website, on Google, or through Clutch.co, the leading review site for verified agents. Read feedback from customers who share with the company.
#4: What is included in my proposal?
Before signing a contract, you should be able to receive a proposal that outlines the current state of your site and the clear SEO strategy that the company plans to implement.
The first step in this proposal is technical SEO auditing, which reveals technical errors that might prevent your site from getting the highest SEO rankings. Their SEO experts will correct these errors and tweak your website for optimal performance.
#5: How familiar is SEO with your industry?
Your SEO company should be able to understand the unique demographics and needs of your business in digital marketing. For example, if you are a local B2C business in a small town, your SEO strategy should focus on Google Maps results for keywords related to your product or service. If you get traffic without potential customers who are conversions or non-conformities, you may need to re-evaluate your partnership.
On the other hand, if you are a large national B2B company, you will need a different strategy. The SEO company you are interviewing should be able to gain insight into which marketing strategies are best for your business.
#6: Can I see the team?
In addition to the sales staff, it is helpful to meet with the team members you will work on on your account. From technical search engine optimization to content development, to link building, to performance analysis and reporting, getting the right search engine optimization requires a large portfolio of skills. Learn about the professional background of their experts. See how long they have been with the company. Have they been certified by Google Analytics? If you are using PPC, are they certified by Google AdWords?
You also want to know the daily activities of the team that handles your account. What is the role of each person? Do they focus on one thing, or do they work in multiple areas at the same time? Ideally, everyone will become an expert in a particular field. This way you get the best content, the best optimization and the best PPC management.
#7: How long has SEO been operating?
Working with a startup has its risks. You are not sure that the company will still exist after one year. A professional SEO company will be able to demonstrate a good track record of success.
Have they worked with the web design/development team?
Do they have a long-term, successful digital marketing strategy?
Do they have experience in SEO, PPC management and social media marketing?
Do they have the ability to create high quality content and turn visitors into sales?
Do they know how to use the power of social media to improve their search rankings?
If the SEO company you are reviewing cannot answer all of these questions and satisfy you without hesitation, please stay tuned. Remember, you are looking for an SEO company that will serve as an extension of your team and become a true partner for your business.
Bonus: 3 cost traps to avoid when recruiting SEO companies
Still thinking about whether you made the right decision? How can you be sure that you have chosen the best SEO company for your business? See the most common mistakes companies make when recruiting SEO companies.
#1Select quick fix
It’s easy to be tempted by an SEO company that promises quick results and offers cheap prices. The truth is that no matter how good the SEO company is, no one can guarantee organic search engine optimization results in the first month or the second month. The main search engine’s web crawler can’t work so fast. Attracting high-quality traffic – the actual conversion to a customer’s visitors – needs to work together over time.
In contrast, organizations that know about SEO will lay the groundwork for major improvements over the first 30 days and will be implemented over time. The benefits are not immediate, but they are real in terms of getting loyal customers.
#2 Hiring an inexperienced SEO company
Hiring a SEO company with little or no experience in your industry means that you may end up feeling frustrated when you spend valuable time and educate them with most of the SEO budget. They will learn your penny and eventually make mistakes that make you and your company feel embarrassed.
While SEO basics cover all industries, industry-specific keyword research, back-linking and analysis behind strategies and executions are best left to experts with prior experience in areas relevant to you.
Conversely, hiring an SEO company with prior experience in the industry means that they are not only ready to go, but also bring you new, actionable ideas to drive business growth.
#3Do not ask for analysis
Your ability to achieve your business goals is directly related to your ability to measure SEO efficiency over time. Ask potential SEO agencies about the way, time and content they provide in performance reporting. Ask to see an example.
A professional SEO company will be able to provide statistics beyond Google’s rankings and website traffic. They also track the effectiveness of your site to attract new viewers, how many visitors return for more information, how many complete forms or calls, and most importantly: how many people are converted to customers.
You may be surprised at how many SEO companies do not provide direct access to their analysis for their customers and effectively let them know nothing about the performance of their SEO program.